BY Wednesday I am more or less over the derby hangover and looking forward to a day at the races on Thursday. All I need is a nice win for the Reds to set me up for a great day of taking money off the bookies. Neither of these things happen.
We’re all in work Wednesday wondering what time we can get off. Andy disappears at 3:30pm saying he’s “got some stuff to sort at home”. By the time I catch up with him it becomes clear that he was either not telling the whole truth there, or the thing he had to sort at home was emptying all his bottles of wine into his mouth. I’m only annoyed he didn’t invite me.
I leave at 5pm, go the barbers, and am in The Lion Tavern by six. Steve Graves is in there with his friend Emilia who tries to teach me about Snapchat, now that I’m doing it for The Wrap and that (get on it). I’m not sure I’m going to be using Snapchat lenses to give Nathaniel Clyne dog ears any time soon, nor taking up her suggested follows (girls off The Valleys) but it was useful nonetheless.
More people come and go. John Mackin very briefly. Sion Lane for a while longer. Sion lives in South Wales and is up for his 40th. Liverpool come through for him as per… After a couple we all jump a taxi to the ground, where the driver regales us of a story of two Evertonians refusing to pay him after the derby because he blasted out You’ll Never Walk Alone after quietly listening to them moaning about “The Red Shite” for 10 minutes. He says it was worth it.
Before the game there is a minutes applause for Hillsborough which doesn’t feel right to me. I know they talked to the families about it though, so who am I to argue with their decision? I’m just not sure we are there yet. I just kept thinking that some of those kids were 10 and what is there to clap about that? I guess applause allows people to choose their own way to mark the 96. Some clap. Others chant Justice. Many stand in silent reflection. At least they are still rightfully honoured.
The footballers kick off and seem to be finding it a bit easy at first, always a worrying mindset for this team to get into. When they have to graft for it they play well. When the graft falls away, so does much of the quality and application. It’s a bit of a worry that they can’t seem to play at 80 per cent.
Gini Wijnaldum passes to them but then Phil Coutinho passes it in and we all think it is going to be fine. Especially when Divock Origi heads one in that I don’t celebrate because I just assume he is offside. But then Jürgen Klopp brings an injured centre-half on for a forward and doesn’t take any of the other shattered lads off and we draw 2-2. Never mind. One point from Bournemouth despite leading both games. Bloody hell.
After the game, one in The Glenbuck turns into two but no more. Races in the morning. Ronan is going too. He is telling me about a horse called Irish Roe who is definitely going to win the last race (spoiler: it does not). I then do the walk to Sandhills that is always slightly longer than you remember and get the train home. Now where’s that suit…
Up the Aintree Reds.